Job Type: Temporary
Salary Details: $22 – $23/hour
Inspiring Hikers to Create Trails for Everyone, Forever
Washington is home to extraordinary hiking destinations, including desert dunes, wild beaches, tranquil mountain tops and raging rivers. Washington is also home to a community of people who are passionate about exploring and protecting these places. This constituency—our members and supporters—is key to the future of trails in Washington.
Washington Trails Association (WTA) is the nation’s largest hiking and trail maintenance nonprofit. We have a 50-year legacy of engaging the hiking community to ensure Washington’s trails stand the test of time. With more than 27,000 members and an online community of over 300,000 and growing, we are connecting people to the outdoors—from everyday adventures to backcountry explorations. Each year 4,500 WTA volunteers perform over 160,000 hours of trail maintenance across the state. We mobilize hikers as public lands advocates, trail stewards, and on-the-ground experts sharing knowledge with fellow hikers. WTA’s strength is our community and our vision depends on fostering an inclusive organization where everyone feels welcome and represented. Together we can ensure there are trails for everyone, forever.
Washington Trails Association is seeking a Trail Crew Leader who loves working with adults and shares our belief that everyone should feel included in the hiking community. The Trail Crew Leader works outdoors leading adult volunteers on 8-day Adult Volunteer Vacations, where crews will build and maintain trails on public lands while camping in various frontcountry and backcountry locations across Washington. This is a temporary, full-time, field-based position based in North Bend and reports to the Multi-Day Trips Program Coordinator.
Leading volunteer work parties
- Establish a safe, fun and inclusive working environment for a crew of adult volunteers of diverse backgrounds, including ensuring that every member of the crew follows all COVID safety protocols for the duration of the trip
- Ensure physical and emotional safety for a volunteer crew of diverse ages and backgrounds
- Support, motivate, and train volunteers to complete a variety of trail projects. Projects may include annual maintenance, tread construction, drainage structures, and constructions of steps, turnpike, puncheon and retaining walls
- Manage camp, including: set-up, breakdown, food preparation and food allergy management
- Effectively manage emergency situations following WTA’s emergency response protocols
- Positively represent WTA mission, programs and membership in all interactions with volunteers, trail users and others
Preparing for work parties
- Participate in pre-trip briefing and debrief meeting before/after each trip
- Communicate directly with adult volunteers via email and phone prior to trips
- Coordinate work party projects and plans with senior WTA staff and land manager
- May assist other WTA staff and volunteers in identifying appropriate volunteer trail projects
- Arrive at each work party with tools, refreshments and work plan
Documenting work parties
- Ensure safety briefing is delivered to volunteers, and that all relevant work party forms are completed and submitted on-time
- Maintain and submit Sign-in and Liability Release for volunteers in a timely manner
- Prepare and submit summary report and thank you email to volunteers for each work party in a timely manner
- Report all incidents affecting the safety, health, and well-being of volunteers
- Using a WTA cell-phone, provide digital photo documentation of project progress and volunteer engagement
Experience, Skills, Knowledge, and Values
Competitive candidates will highlight the following in their application, or express willingness to learn:
- Demonstrated commitment to WTA’s mission and values on diversity, equity and inclusion
- Demonstrated ability to create a crew community where every member feels included and valued
- Demonstrated skills in trail maintenance and building
- Ability to effectively manage emergency situations
- Ability to accept and integrate feedback graciously, and give effective feedback to team members
- Ability to work in an outdoor environment, including hiking and backpacking up to 6-8 miles daily in a variety of terrain, and follow minimum impact guidelines
- A deep understanding of the experiences and community issues affecting those marginalized in mainstream outdoor opportunities, such as Black, Indigenous, and People of color (BIPOC) and/or LGBTQ+ communities
- WFA and CPR certification minimum requirement valid through the duration of employment; WFR certification preferred
- Valid driver’s license and ability to drive a truck on highways and dirt roads
- Ability to work weekends and 13-hour days in remote settings
- Reliable internet and printer access (library and other public access is fine) for work party planning and documentation
- Demonstrated experience leading a team in an outdoor setting
The Trail Crew Leader is a temporary position starting April 4, 2023, and continuing through September 30, 2023. The expected schedule for leading each Adult Volunteer Vacation trip is Saturday to Saturday (8 days), with occasional exceptions. During this time, the crew leader will camp with the crew. We strive to schedule 5 days off between trips, during which time the crew leader is expected to complete approximately 8 hours of trip preparation activities. Mandatory paid training will be April 10-14, 2023 in or near Seattle, WA, with additional paid training dates to be determined based on schedule and availability. There is an unpaid summer break July 24-30. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination requirements are in place for WTA staff and volunteers.
The hourly rate for this position is $22.00 – $23.00 per hour depending on experience, for training, day trip crew leading, administrative and scouting assignments. WTA provides a cell phone, hard hat, work gloves and safety glasses. WTA does not provide boots, clothing or other personal outdoor and backpacking gear required for fieldwork, but does provide a $200 reimbursement to offset wear and tear on personal gear. Position is eligible for paid holidays, sick leave, health stipend and an employer match retirement plan. For more information on benefits, please visit our website at www.wta.org/jobs.
A WTA vehicle will be provided for transportation to work parties. Reimbursement for up to 250 miles per trip will be provided for staff members who use a personal vehicle to fulfill program needs, unless commuting to/from base of operations.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
WTA is committed to advancing equity and continually working to become a more inclusive organization. We believe WTA, and Washington’s hiking community, is made better by people with varied backgrounds, identities, abilities and lived experience. People of color and others with identities that are underrepresented in the outdoor industry (including but not limited to: gender identity, class, socioeconomic status, conviction history, sexual orientation, age, ability, and background) are strongly encouraged to apply.
WTA does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of age, color, gender identity, marital status, honorably discharged veteran or military status, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.
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The position is open until filled. Finalists will be asked to submit to a background check of criminal and driving history. We create opportunities for candidates to discuss any results prior to hiring decisions being made.